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Movie Review: Satiated – ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’

It’s said that all good things must come to an end. And that includes “The Hunger Games” stories and movies

Column: The ride to dawn

Montpellier is a city in the south of France lying between the fabled Provence and Riviera to the east, and the conflict plagued region bordering Spain and the Atlantic to the west. It is the westernmost large city bordering France’s Mediterranean, and unlike Nice, Cannes or Marseille, it remains a “walled city,”with no beaches, famous or unfamous, to speak of.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Helping those in need this holiday season

The holiday season is a time for family and friends to come together, celebrate and give thanks. But as we attend parties and prepare to exchange gifts, it’s important to remember those among us who may be less fortunate and could use a helping hand.

Best college prep? Unplug and read

Parents of high school students often inquire what they can do to help their children prepare for college. They consider AP classes, sports, even SAT prep work as the silver bullet. My two suggestions surprise most.

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Movie Review: Numbering the days – A review of “The 33”

There isn’t any doubt that mining is dangerous work. Compound that with the safety record prevalent in foreign countries and luck is what keeps many of these men alive from day to day. So it is in this story of a Chilean mine disaster that nearly claimed the lives of 33 miners near the tail end of 2010.

Column: Letter from Oz

I am writing to you while on furlough from Oz, albeit briefly, after being caught up then set down in a nasty whirlwind. Luck is with me to have survived, as the debris swirling around in a cyclone is as dangerous as the twister itself, and, unfortunately does not go away, but is set down along with you.

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THEATER REVIEW: Sketchy comedy -- Monthy Python’s surreal satire scores at ShoppingTown’s CNY Playhouse

If you’re serious about silly walks, then hop, skip or sashay your way over to CNY Playhouse’s “A Tribute to Monty Python’s Flying Circus” running through Nov. 21, at ShoppingTown DeWitt.

In the Earth: Teenaged mineral star

The black tourmaline locality near Pierrepont, NY, is one of the oldest, most famous and still productive mineral localities in northern New York. Although many collectors, and most museums, have specimens of lustrous black tourmaline in their collections, relatively little was known about the history of the locality or the details of the minerals that occurred there and how they formed.

Movie Review: A Better Bond – A review of ‘Spectre’

James Bond has grown up. Actually that can be said of all four of the installments starring Daniel Craig, but the statement most definitely applies here. This is NOT your father’s James Bond. This is a Bond more in tune with the discerning action adventure fans of the 2000s.

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The Book Beat: New releases

These just in. Here’s a selection of books released by well-known and popular authors that you’ll want to read. From mysteries to satire and a trip to Wonderland, these stories will no doubt hit the bestseller lists.

Column: For the love of pie

In the springtime, our thoughts may turn to love but in autumn, they turn to pie — at least mine do. Sweet or savory, pie is an ancient dish, known at least as far back as the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians Even the most authoritative references are vague as to the origin of the word “pie,” so I feel competent to leap into the gap with my own associations.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Prepare for winter at upcoming training session

As winter draws near, it’s important to prepare ourselves for what the season might bring. Storms in recent years have brought unprecedented amounts of snow, freezing rain, high winds and extreme temperatures. Here in Onondaga County, those conditions can be harmful, causing power outages, endangering walkways and interrupting essential services. That’s why I encourage all to attend the upcoming Citizen Preparedness Training I’m hosting with the American Red Cross.

Movie review: Holiday movies to look forward to

The holiday season is second only to the blockbuster summer season as box office gold. Some of the hottest movies of the year will make it onto the big screen over the next eight weeks. Here are a few to look forward to:

Column: The blind watchmen

Why do we listen to "them?" The "them" in this case being the critics, the people who set themselves up as the filters through which the rest of are supposed to choose what we read, what we watch and to whom we pay attention. It was only due to a friend's insistence that I read Harper Lee's new bestseller, "Go Set a Watchman," which is, in my opinion, a masterpiece.

Movie review: Now we’re cookin’ – Cooper sizzles in ‘Burnt’

Adam Jones is predictably arrogant, confident and masterful. And he’s a world-class chef. When the movie “Burnt” opens, though, he’s at the tail end of a self-imposed penance for his own shortcomings while he was studying in France. It was at that time that he made a lot of friends into enemies.